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Situation in Lebanon remains tense

Protesters were violently removed from the environment ministry building.

Lebanese activists stand in front of riot police outside the environment ministry in downtown Beirut on 1 September, 2015 as Lebanese police started forcefully evacuating protesters who had occupied part of the building in a surprise sit-in. Picture: AFP.

BEIRUT - A 72-hour ultimatum for the government of Lebanon to meet the demands of protestors has come and gone with no word from either side as to what will happen next.

Last night about 30 protesters were violently removed from the country's environment ministry after they stormed the building.

Demonstrators are demanding the resignation of the Environment Minister who has failed to organise the collection of garbage from the city's streets.

The situation in downtown Beirut is impossible to predict. Into the early hours of Wednesday morning, hundreds of protesters remain on the streets, surrounding the government complex building.

Security police have condoned off the area but the occasional provocations from the demonstrators make them surge into the crowds every so often.

Speaking to Eyewitness News without fear, the protesters say "this is the making of a revolution". And while it might take a few more days, the situation could really get more violent.

Last week. Fears grew that an Arab spring styled revolution could be in the making, as tens of thousands of citizens continue to call for their government to step down.

The organisers behind the street protests dubbed 'You Stink!,' are threatening to escalate their public protests unless the interior minister responsible for alleged police brutality is replaced.

Many downtown buildings are spray painted with slogans of the Arab Spring such as "Make it a revolution!" or the "People want the downfall of the regime!"

Lebanon's public debt currently stands at about 143 percent of gross domestic product, a government source said.

Lebanon, still rebuilding from its 1975-1990 civil war, has been repeatedly jolted by spillover from the Syria war, including political violence and a major refugee crisis.

Hezbollah, a powerful Iranian-backed party, is fighting alongside President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian conflict.